Ketchikan is the southeasternmost city in Alaska, along the Alaskan panhandle. This city is surrounded by wilderness in the form of mountains and rivers. It’s also steeped in Native American history, with the world’s largest standing collection of totem poles. This combination makes it not only a fascinating place to visit, but a great place to get out and explore with your top dog. There are also two veterinary clinics in this town, making it a cinch to have a happy, healthy puppy in this town.
The area of Ketchikan brings in tons of tourists every year because of it’s access to the largest national forest in the United States, the Tongass National Forest. This rugged and untamed wilderness is filled with wildlife including eagles and bears. Here you can find endless opportunities for adventure, including camping, hiking, and fishing among the islands, mountains and old-growth forests. Best of all, leashed and well behaved dogs are welcome to enjoy the trails and boardwalks to head deep into the wild.
Ketchikan is welcoming to visitors, including the 4 legged kind! Here you can find several options for pet friendly accommodations, including The Narrows Inn Restaurant and Marina. This hotel is conveniently located near the airport, offers garden ocean views. They welcome up to two pets per room for an additional fee.
With all of these pet friendly amenities and activities, your pup doesn’t need to miss out on the fun in Ketchikan!
If you and your doggo want some fresh air but aren’t quite up to diving into the vast wilderness of Alaska at the moment, Ketchikan has its share of smaller urban parks as well! Check out Whale Park in the City Center. This little park is in the shape of a whale, with parking located inside the mouth. This park is also known for its beautiful gardens and trees. Features include benches, and a weatherproof plaque with historical information about the area. Leashed dogs are welcome, as long as they get picked up after! This neighborhood also has dog friendly accommodations. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay the night, check out West Coast Cape Fox Lodge. This hotel is reminiscent of a ski lodge, on a hill overlooking the city. They welcome two pets of any size for an additional fee.
For a relatively easy trail that’s close to town, check out the Carlanna Lake Trail. This trail is accessible from the Tongass Ave / 2nd Ave neighborhood of Ketchikan, at the end of Canyon Road. Although this trail is considered easy, it’s not short on amazing views! This trail wanders through old growth forests, and brings you to the Carlanna Lake dam. This glassy lake is perfectly framed by spruce trees and rocky mountainsides. The trail welcomes leashed dogs, as long as they are picked up after. If you’re looking for more of a trek, keep following the path over the second bridge, as it veers up the mountain towards the Minerva Mountain Trail. This trail will bring you north of town, out to Perseverance Lake.
To enjoy learning more about the Native American history of the area, check out the Totem Bight State Historical Park. This park is located in the Loring neighborhood of Ketchikan, on a small point along the Tongass Narrows. This 33 acre park welcomes well behaved dogs, as long as they stay leashed and are picked up after. The park features an even, wooded pathway that meanders through 15 colorfully painted totem poles, and a traditional clan house. The area is surrounded by beautiful nature and a beach. To enhance the experience, you can take in interpretive information about the totem poles posted all around the park.
For some easily accessible nature and greenspace, check out the Sitka National Historical Park, in the City Center of Sitka. You’ll need to take a ferry along the Alaska Marine Highway to get to this town, but the ride is an adventure in itself and a great way to spot some wildlife. So get your sea legs ready and don’t forget your binoculars! The ferry allows dogs, as long as they stay in a car or in a travel carrier on the car deck. In the 122 acre Sitka National Historical Park, leashed dogs are allowed to explore along with their two legged friends. The park features trails and coastal walks that wind through carved totem poles. Keep going south through the park and you’ll reach the famous Tlingit Totem Pole.
Just 15 miles on the ferry south of Ketchikan brings you to the town of Metlakatla on Annette Island. This rugged Island of Alaskan wilderness provides plenty of adventure opportunities for you and your dog! It's located along the inside passage, and is the only settlement for Tsimshian People in the United States. Here you can take a look at old Tsimshian artifacts, or enjoy traditional song and dance performances. For some greenery and a space for your pup to stretch his or her legs, check out Pioneer Park. In this park you and your pup can take in the gorgeous Alaskan Bay views, have a picnic, and maybe even catch some northern lights! Leashed dogs are welcome in this park.